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DISPENSING JUSTICE LAWLESSLY

 

By Evan Wambugu

A few weeks I stumbled upon a curious case of a young man who was incinerated on a foot path along Nyeri View Estate for allegedly thieving a Dedan Kimathi University Of Technology’s student’s property. The repellant image of the torched stealer was an indicator of the level of reprobating jurisprudence. It exposed the multifaceted troubles facing this nation.The men and women of this country are facing the challenge of insecurity.

While there are legally established systems to handle cases of larceny in Kenya, the citizenry have resorted to unorthodox ways of dispensing justice by taking it into their own hands.This is common in the country sides or the suburbs. The failure of law enforcement agencies and the judiciary in executing their mandate have birthed moral policing and mob justice. These days people take up matters into their own hands.It is a dangerous trend in society.

The slow pace of investigations and prosecutions of such cases has led to the patience of the victims running out.The growing call for the authorities to step up in their mandate has fell on deaf ears.While police still insist that crime fighting should be left to the professionals,it is laughable that aggrieved persons are supposed to sit pretty as their fundamental rights are trampled upon by these outlaws. Offenders continue to suffer at the hands of angry mobs due to the inconstancy of the established constitutional bodies that is tasked with fighting crime.They seem to have lost control of the situation.

Mob Justice
Lynching scene in Pakistan [Photo Credit;Independent]
The balance between the challenge of effectively using laws and regulations and the risk of safety is what has brought us to this point.Citizens are making a mockery of justice by using dispassionate judgement to handle crime.This is a symptom of everything going wrong.It is disgraceful and despicable. And it becomes hard to tell who is more loathsome.The loony or the crowd.Obsceneties will be screamed. Fists flailed.Bricks and bottles clattered.And they will say that it is the justice system in action. Both are terrifying.

Turning up to exact mob justice is intensely stupid.It makes a laughing stock of justice,morality,law and order.It couldnt get more alarming. The National Police Service,The Judiciary,The Directorate of Public Prosecution,The Directorate of Criminal Investigations need to step up in their legal mandates. Leaving the fate of villains and criminals to be determined by angry mobs shouldnt happen in a nation that prides in democracy,the rule of law and constitutionalism. Angry mobs are delivering a measure justice using outrage and the worst unimaginable behavior.Watching the villains suffer is appalling.People shouldnt be let to vent their real outrage on them while taking a comedic look.It is mind boggling. It is beyond the bounds of conventions,when the angry mobs satisfy their urge to tar and feather these guys and run them out of existence,tearing them limb to limb and blowing them to limbs.

Security of the citizens has been in the doldrums in the recent months.And it has worsened.There is a rise in petty crimes including robberies and carjackings due to security breakdown.The spiraling crime rates and the growing scale of mob justice is an alarming fact. When a bloody-thirsty mob lynches a suspected criminal,it defiles the rule of law and order.Law enforcement has been put on spotlight in these scenarios.Human rights organizations need to step up and strengthen the established frameworks of protecting these villains under the law.

The discrepancies in handling of crime is a reflection of a lack of commitment to the rule of law.We are not living in a ochlocracy where authority is in the hands of the multitude.This is an abuse of democracy. This illegal infliction of punishment on suspected offenders has horrendous consequences.It destabilizes order.It boomerangs on our desire to have a crime-free state.Mobocracy has creeped into our systems.Plebeian populists taking law into their hands is unsufferable.Is this dicey venture going to mock our whole shop of legalism?

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